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Author Topic: New Zealand questions  (Read 4186 times)

Alps

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New Zealand questions
« on: September 03, 2013, 12:40:39 AM »

As I put together my itinerary, I'll drop any questions in this thread.

First question: Waikare Road to Russell appears to be partially paved, partially unpaved. Does anyone have further information, such as the length of the unpaved section and its quality? I will have to confirm any restrictions with the rental agency regardless, but want to make sure I will not be driving into a bad situation.
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Alps

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Re: New Zealand questions
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2013, 09:24:32 PM »

No answers. Okay, I'll try Old Russell Road and Waikare Road both. Unpaved length seems to be about 10km-20km on each, with some great waterfront views on the former.
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~ Steve
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I've listened many times, and I still can't figure out what the fox says.

"YOUR NAME IS NAMED AFTER A BUTT"

Alps

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New Zealand notes
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2013, 11:14:17 PM »

No answers. Okay, I'll try Old Russell Road and Waikare Road both. Unpaved length seems to be about 10km-20km on each, with some great waterfront views on the former.
Turns out that there are no waterfront views unless you turn off of Old Russell. So it goes. Fun roads to drive, especially Waikare - tons of curves. I was thinking NZ would be an easier introduction to left-hand driving, but it was the most challenging technical driving of the entire vacation, by far, even (especially?) on the first day. Well, this much is true - I was sure acclimated quickly.
* NZ refers to all of its numbered routes as "state highways". I guess NZ is the "state."
* There was a former system of secondary highways. Primaries are red, and secondaries were blue. I don't know much about the system yet (will do more research when I get to the photos next year), but I did snag at least one remnant.
* ETA: NZ is almost like California in terms of multiplexes. Many routes just disappear at one end, not even with signage pointing "TO" it, and then magically reappear a few km later.

The hardest part of adapting to driving on the left is not the driving. It's the habits from right-side sitting.
* Seatbelt comes down from the right. I was reaching up to the left for the first week.
* Wipers are on the left, blinkers are on the right. This one had me for the full three weeks. And then, just as I got home, I must have mastered it, because now I'm reteaching myself that blinkers are on the left.
* The driver door is on the right. I approached my car on the left constantly the whole time. I've only slipped up once so far back home.

I have scribbled "WOW" many times through my ragged notes. NZ is easily the most beautiful place I've been to. The "Southern Alps" rival if not surpass their northern counterparts, possibly because they incorporate a lot of similarity to the Rockies as well - longer vistas along plains and plateaus, and mountains in chains instead of bunches. My photos don't adequately capture the colors - vibrant, vivid blue water, pure white snow, deep green trees, etc. Yellow flowers were out in force, also incredibly bright. Halloween is absolutely the right time to visit.

On those notes, SH 6 is easily the most beautiful drive in the world. It has a variety of views from ocean to mountain, and once it gets in the lakes, you'll find yourself agreeing with me.

Gas is really expensive there - about $7/gallon American. Compare to $6/gallon in much of Australia, and as little as $5/gallon around Adelaide and Melbourne. There are almost no trucks around, and very little traffic between towns. Only between Auckland and Hamilton did I really notice traffic. It's not all divided yet, but it's being upgraded/extended in pieces, and it seems that it will be at least a four-lane road if not a freeway in the relatively near future. That's about the only place one is warranted outside of city limits.

Apparently Christchurch had a couple of mild earthquakes just before I visited. Yeah, that's what they need. More earthquakes. They're rebuilding at a feverish pace, but there's a lot of work left to go. Most buildings are either torn down or under reconstruction at this point. At least one bridge remains closed, and the parallel one that's open has some clear cracking and settling that hasn't been dealt with - or is "good enough". ChCh (as it's called locally) also has a ring road, signed with an R inside a pentagon as if it were a city route. (Auckland, if not other cities, have numbered routes of their own subordinate to the national system.)
« Last Edit: November 26, 2013, 11:32:39 PM by Steve »
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~ Steve
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I've listened many times, and I still can't figure out what the fox says.

"YOUR NAME IS NAMED AFTER A BUTT"

yanksfan6129

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Re: New Zealand questions
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2013, 11:56:08 PM »

Sounds like an awesome trip. Really looking forward to hearing about it when you get all the pics sorted out.
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Dr Frankenstein

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Re: New Zealand questions
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2013, 09:21:52 AM »

* Wipers are on the left, blinkers are on the right. This one had me for the full three weeks. And then, just as I got home, I must have mastered it, because now I'm reteaching myself that blinkers are on the left.
I had always wondered if those were swapped in RHD cars. Thanks for mentioning it!
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Re: New Zealand questions
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2013, 12:38:28 PM »

Actually, it's not a LHD/RHD thing, but a country of origin thing.
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agentsteel53

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Re: New Zealand notes
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2013, 01:12:02 PM »

was your car manual transmission?  I wonder how I would adjust to shifting with my left (non-dominant) hand.

also, is the gear pattern reversed?  is it 1-3-5/2-4-R or 5-3-1/R-4-2?
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Re: New Zealand questions
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2013, 03:05:47 PM »

Actually, it's not a LHD/RHD thing, but a country of origin thing.

Here in the U.S., several police agencies are now using Holden Caprice sedans as highway patrol vehicles.

Of course, the Australian imports have a Chevrolet insignia instead of Holden, and they are definitely LHD.  I believe they have the controls set-up the same as GM products built in the U.S. and Canada.
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Alps

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Re: New Zealand questions
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2013, 05:07:20 PM »

was your car manual transmission?  I wonder how I would adjust to shifting with my left (non-dominant) hand.

also, is the gear pattern reversed?  is it 1-3-5/2-4-R or 5-3-1/R-4-2?
No. I'm averse to using a shifter when I have to take photos.
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~ Steve
http://www.alpsroads.net
I've listened many times, and I still can't figure out what the fox says.

"YOUR NAME IS NAMED AFTER A BUTT"

Alps

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Re: New Zealand questions
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2016, 10:18:06 PM »

Several years later, going through my photos, I accidentally stumbled upon New Zealand's version of Straight Line Diagrams. The site itself requires registration, but the PDFs are apparently searchable. So far I've only looked for a bridge (quoted name) in the Northland region.

http://his.aucklandmotorways.net/PDFs//NORTHLAND/0_577_NORTHLAND_ALL_0.pdf
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http://www.alpsroads.net
I've listened many times, and I still can't figure out what the fox says.

"YOUR NAME IS NAMED AFTER A BUTT"

 


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